Hike and Sketch at Bullfrog Lake

12-26-10 33°F  cloudy, breeze orange and red trail Hiking today seems like a workout, for I am wearing regular hiking boots and not snow shoes. There are several inches of snow on the ground. I love to hear the "crunch, crunch, crunch" sound with every step. As I hike the red trail which is much … Continue reading Hike and Sketch at Bullfrog Lake


Christmas Bird Watercolors

Lately, I've been trying to loosen up with my watercolors. The background of the blue jay represents what I'm talking about. I feel sometimes, as if I am too stiff while painting with watercolors. I mean, that's their true character...loose and free, and so let them be, loose and free! I have to remind myself...stop … Continue reading Christmas Bird Watercolors

Winter Sunset Sketch

Winter Sunset Sketch4:20pm 17°F  icy cold wind Centennial Park As daylight quickly slips away, a golden glow desperately hangs near the horizon. Purples and blues creep in behind me, shadows start to disappear, and the night takes over. The retention pond is nearly iced-covered except for a small round opening which contains many mallards and geese, … Continue reading Winter Sunset Sketch

Let’s Paint Winter Grasses!

There's something wonderful about winter grasses. Could it be that bright warm golden glow? Could it be the way they sound bending in the wind? Could it be the way they poke out of the snow? Yes, all of these above make winter grasses so special. This picture was taken on a hike last winter … Continue reading Let’s Paint Winter Grasses!

Smallest American Falcon Sketch plus Sound

Sound: European Kestrel call (similar to American but lower pitch) by Dobroide from Free Sound Project. Leaving work early one day last week, I stepped outside and something flew over my head at high speed shouting, "yip, yip, yip, yip, yip, yip". What the heck? I ran to my car which just happened to have binoculars in it … Continue reading Smallest American Falcon Sketch plus Sound

Sketchbook Hiking: Spears Woods VIDEO

Well friends, here it is! Finally! Sit back and relax and enjoy a short hike at Spears Woods before we do a step-by-step watercolor sketch demonstration. Why are we hiking before we paint? Well, I really want to invite the viewer to make a connection with nature and become familiar with the location we decide to sketch. … Continue reading Sketchbook Hiking: Spears Woods VIDEO

Hike and Sketch at Bartel Grasslands

I heard through the Illinois Birding List, that if you visit the Bartel Grasslands after 3pm, your chances of seeing a short-eared owl over the field this time of year is pretty high. Well, that's all I needed! So yesterday I jumped in the car and headed out to the Bartel Grasslands for a hike. … Continue reading Hike and Sketch at Bartel Grasslands

Red Tail Hawk Sketch at Orland Grasslands

A big white chest is what caught my eye as I drove 50 mph down LaGrange Road this morning. So prominent and bold, yet silent and devising. Not a muscle did he move, just a fixed stare beaming below...waiting for his next meal perhaps. Just a few feet and a veil of light snow separate us, however he … Continue reading Red Tail Hawk Sketch at Orland Grasslands